Business

Postapproval Changes for Biopharmaceutical Drug-Substance and Drug-Product Manufacture: Regulatory Complexity and Impact

Pharmaceutical products save or improve the lives of millions of people each year. Thorough regulatory review of chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) information is critical to ensure drug product safety, quality, and efficacy as well as to secure patients’ continuous access to such products. But achieving all of that at an effective cost is difficult. Companies race to launch products to patients as soon as possible after clinical efficacy is demonstrated. Biomanufacturers often need to make changes such as increasing…

Collaboration Is Key to Innovation in Biotechnology

A new report from Thomson Reuters shows that innovation in biotechnology declined slightly in 2015, and biotech is the only one of a dozen worldwide industries examined to show that kind of decline (1). To measure innovation, compilers used metrics such as patents filed and scientific literature cited. Looking at the details, however, the dip was just a 2% drop from 42,584 events in 2014 to 41,624 in 2015. The same dynamics had revealed a 7% increase in innovation from…

Addressing the Challenges of Developing Biopharmaceutical Drugs

The biopharmaceutical industry is enjoying considerable success. Its products account for about a fifth of world pharmaceutical revenues, which are growing at twice the pace of those generated by most traditional chemically synthesized drugs. Biopharmaceuticals populate the list of best-selling drugs, and a number have achieved blockbuster status. Biotechnology stocks have outperformed the general market as investment has flowed into the industry. As with other highly profitable markets, the market for biopharmaceuticals has become increasingly competitive. Reflecting this fact, in…

The History of Continuous Processing: Why Has the Biopharmaceutical Industry Been So Late to Adopt?

Continuous and semicontinuous manufacturing systems have been used for many years in numerous sectors — including the automotive, food and beverage, oil refining, chemicals, pulp and paper, electronics, metal smelting, steel making, and waste-water treatment industries. Most of these industries are capital intensive and switched to flow manufacturing to increase productivity and flexibility; reduce cycle times, inventory, waste, and costs; and achieve enhanced product quality. Despite the capital intensive nature of drug manufacturing, the biopharmaceutical industry has lagged behind these…

A Turning Point for US Biosimilars

The next 12–18 months could be a critical time for biosimilars in the United States (1). This product class has grown rapidly since passage of the Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) of 2010. That landmark legislation allowed for biosimilar market approvals based on previously approved “reference products,” creating an expedited pathway that reduces biosimilar development costs and speeds regulatory review so patients get faster access to essential medicines. Increased competition from biosimilars could save the US healthcare system…

Automation in Cell Therapy Manufacturing

The concept of automation conjures up images of robots on assembly lines or perhaps automobiles replacing horse-drawn carriages. In both examples, automation provides an ability to work tirelessly, with reproducible high-quality outputs at increased speed. For cell therapy, automation can be used to increase the scale of cell culture operations (e.g., bioreactors replacing flasks) and allow the use of closed systems that can protect cell products from contamination with adventitious agents from the environment or operators themselves. Closed systems also…

Collaboration Will Drive Regenerative Medicine: Toronto Development Center Will Help to Advance the Field

With support from the federal government of Canada, GE Healthcare and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) are pushing into new frontiers to advance the progress of cell therapy and regenerative medicine. When I first met Michael May, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CCRM, both our organizations had been exploring opportunities in parallel to drive the cell therapy industry forward. CCRM’s mission is to create and sustain a global nexus for company creation, technology and cell…

Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Drug development is a complex process that is associated with high drug-candidate attrition rates, long development times, and high costs (1, 2). Drug development costs have increased over the past two decades, with current average development cost of about US$2.6 billion, of which $1.4 billion is the direct cost (1, 2). On average, drug development takes at least 10 years to market authorization (2). Biopharmaceutical companies often follow a strategy of developing drugs for multiple clinical indications and biological targets…

CMC Strategy Forum Special Focus Series: Part 2 Product-Related Impurities, An Overview

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forums focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of forum meetings are published in BioProcess International and on the CASSS website. This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with advancing technologies in a regulated environment…

The Year of Data Integrity: 2015 Brought a Worldwide Focus on Training, System Design and Control, and Data Management

Each year, regulatory agencies from around the world focus on critical aspects of the pharmaceutical quality management system, bringing awareness to the industry and continuing to effect positive change. In the past five years, risk assessments, electronic records, and outsourced activities have been in the spotlight. As 2015 closed out, it was clearly the year of data integrity. In March 2015, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published its GMP Data Integrity Definitions and Guidance for Industry,…